Friday, April 29

The Del Monte Golf Course in Monterey Is Turning 125

A 1909 ladies tournament with caddies.
THE DEL MONTE GOLF COURSE (at Pebble Beach Resorts) will celebrate 125 years of golf on its unique premises on Sunday, May 1.

Del Monte opened in 1897, and helped popularize a game that was new to Americans at the beginning of the 20th century. That game called golf took off in the following decades.

Del Monte has been around for it all. It's the oldest golf course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River. It's also the birthplace of the California State Amateur.

Today, the classic layout still challenges golfers with its old-school greens.

Monday, April 11

The Masters: Scottie Scheffler Adds Green Jacket to His Growing Resume

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UNFORTUNATELY I DID NOT SEE THE END of the Masters. But I did see how leader Scottie Scheffler was handling final-round pressure (very well). And I did see much of Rory McIlroy's charge that culminated in a brilliant 64 and runner-up finish.

A good friend invited me to his birthday party. It was one of those milestone birthdays. I did not want to miss any of it. But I do admit that I checked the Masters app on my phone several times until Scheffler closed it out and donned the Green Jacket.

Scheffler, who finished at 10 under to win by three strokes, has won four times in six starts and was already World No. 1 before he rolled down Magnolia Lane.

Of course, I'm impressed by all his shots, especially his short game, but I'm just as impressed with his demeanor and composure. Judging from his facial expressions, it's hard to tell if he pull-hooked a drive or two (like he did early on) or wedged in for a birdie (generating a small fist pump).

Is the new 25-year-old Masters champion as impervious as he looks?

Obviously, winning the Masters is not your garden variety PGA Tour victory. Being on a hot streak coming into Masters week helps, but it doesn't guarantee a Green Jacket. It's a long, sad list of semi greats who never got it done, like Ernie Els and Tom Weiskopf, to name two.

Scheffler almost made it look easy, winning from the front, carrying the pressure of the lead over a long stretch of the tournament.

And yet there was a lot more to it for Scheffler, as SI Morning Read reported.

You would never know that the guy’s stomach was a pretzel for two days, or that when he woke up, "I cried like a baby this morning. I was so stressed out. I didn't know what to do."

He said he told Meredith: "I don't think I'm ready for this kind of stuff."

She said: "Who are you to say that you're not ready?"

Meredith was right to question him. Her husband was ready and more than able.

Saturday, April 9

The Masters: Scottie Scheffler Leads, Augusta National Is the Star

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SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER IS LEADING THE MASTERS by a bunch in the third round. But Augusta National Golf Club is winning.

The average score in round three is 75, to this point. It's cold, in the fifties. It's breezy. Every shot, it seems, is hard to judge for the best players in the world. Putts of nearly every length are hard to hole. (Tiger Woods four-putted the 5th hole after a pretty good start.)

I'm enjoying the show, sipping hot chocolate on my couch.

Today is moving day, as they say. And some, if not much, of that movement is backwards.

The weather will be better on Sunday. The high will be in the seventies.